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Comment Re:yea IOS (Score 2) 58

Really? As a confirmed Apple hater I would love to believe this but... to develop for Apple I would have to buy a Mac. Then I would have to pay what is it... $100/year the last I checked to get the development environment. (chump change I guess after buying a Mac) Then.. the only way the app could ever get on to more than a fraction of a percent of people's devices is to get it approved by the Apple store which everyone I have talked to claims is a real pain in the ass.

To develop for Android just download the development environment for your favorite of Linux/Windows/Mac OS for free and start coding. It seems to me that Google is trying a lot harder to get developers than Apple is.

What I think is the real issue is that a lot of developers don't want to deal with the variety of screen sizes one finds on Android. They like Apple's closed little world. HTML was supposed to free us of this issue. With sizes being defined in percents, data inside of elements that describe what the data is, not how to display it, etc... devices were supposed to determine how to display things best based on their own unique hardware profiles. That was html documents but by now applications should work that way too.

But... thest f@!#ng graphics designers and marketers had to mess that all up. Instead everything is defined down to how it will look pixel per pixel. So of course... supporting many different sizes and shapes of devices means making sure your pixel by pixel design looks good on them all. So.. the lazy fckrs only want to support iOS because it is easier to design that way in a limited environment.

The real issue is not the number of screen sizes combined with a marketing mandate. It's the sheer number of versions that you have to support. With Android, there are still devices being sold today with version 2.1 all the way to the latest release. Contrast that to Apple where pretty much the entire ecosystem adopts to the latest release very quickly, and if you want to worry about 3-year old phones you're still only one iOS revision back. The issues with handling that wide a range of operating system versions require a significant investment in both planning and support after the app goes live. Smaller companies or even company divisions that have a small team are going to go for the simpler solution every time. Better to ship on one platform than to try to support everything and never ship.

Comment Re:It doesn't exist. It's proposal for a new restr (Score 1) 361

Having no laws against something is not the same thing as allowing it. There are regulations, Comcast is required to have net neutrality for x years due to merger and the like.

There's an agreement about certain practices based on Comcast's purchase of NBC Universal. I'd be curious to see if there's a loophole that will allow them to say that due to the merger the prior agreement is null and void. I also wonder if the net neutrality provisions were spelled out directly in that agreement, or if there was a "pointer" to whatever the current regulations are at the current time.

Comment Re:Look to prior experience (Score 1) 361

This, in essence, is why I am opposed to net neutrality. I hate comcast. I hate the government more. I can trust comcast to act in their self interest -- which is shaping traffic in a way that generates the least number of angry customers.

Contrastingly, I can't trust the government to do very much right. And I can be assured that whoever will work at the FCC that gets put in charge of policing ISPs will be one of two types of people:

Total fearmongering unsupported by evidence. The government that supposedly can't "do very much right" has regulated voice telephony under common-carrier rules for about 90 years. And before that it was the telegraph services, and before them the railroads. Common-carrier was instituted to regulate the abuses of the rail barons. We have a long experience with government common-carrier regulations, and it seems to me that they have worked out pretty well.

For a taste of the alternative, consider what would happen if your local phone company said to American Airlines, "none of our customers can call your reservation center unless you pay us 5% of the ticket sales. After all, you're using our wires for free! And if you don't pay, your callers will get a busy signal 90% of the time." Suppose that, like almost everyone on US broadband, you had no alternative of using another phone company. Pricing based on the apparent value to the customer of the traffic would be a disaster. It was, in the case of the old railroads. And in both cases, it was possible only because there is no effective alternative carrier.

The free market only works when there actually is a market.

I'd argue that a truly free market always devolves into monopoly. This may take years or decades, but it will happen. And only in rare circumstances can that monopoly ever be broken, due to the monopoly-holder naturally performing anti-competitive acts in order to keep the monopoly. The only thing that has sufficient power to break or prevent monopolies is government regulation.

Comment Re:Yea, ohter things could be good for you too (Score 1) 361

Comcast doesn't care about "angry users". After all, who are you going to? Isn't that the issue of free-market, capitalist USA: no competition to speak of when it comes to broadband? Users will continue to pay whatever they have to pay to get connected, because an Internet connection is so important nowadays you can hardly do without.

What your beloved Comcast does care about is money. They want lots of it. This is why they do their best to stifle any sign of competition in the broadband arena. Try to run your own network, and get sued to oblivion (or bought out - either way, competition neutralised).

They'll do the same with your content providers. If web site doesn't pay, they don't allow it on their network. And don't expect you as a consumer to pay any less for your connection! You may have to pay more because, with the money from Netflix, YouTube, and the rest, they upgraded the network to double the speed. So you now have a faster network, so you'll have to pay more in subscription fees. That by then half the Internet is inaccessible to you... well you probably don't stray beyond your four of five favourite sites anyway.

That is a possible outcome, but it is not really a probable outcome.

Basic web sight trafic is trivial compared to voice and video traffic, and any telco who throttled or blocked web sights would be at a competitive disadvantage against one who didn't.

There's no incentive for the telcos to go hitting up individual web masters most of who barely break even as it is for fees to be on their network (they won't get them and they'll only stand to generate bad publicity if something like XKCD disappears from their network one day).

The problem is that they can't charge everyone what it would cost to stream HD video 24/7, and without the ability to differentiate traffic they can't use a multi-tiered pay structure to charge people who don't use video streaming much less than people who use it heavily.

Holy hell we've been invaded by industry shills from foreign lands who can't converse in english!

Competitive disadvantage doesn't exist when you're the only game in town, because (by definition) competition requires more than one party to provide the service. And in most places in the US, you don't have a choice. Even in major metros you have AT MOST your choice of only three - cable company, phone company, or satellite. So if you don't like it, where are you going to go? The competitor across the street who is doing the same thing? These companies already talk together so much that it's surprising they haven't been take to court for collusion.

I'm really starting to think that we need to (a) break up the cable plant from the content, and (b) classify the cable plant operators as common carriers. Think about this: TWC and Comcast can already broadcast TV over IP (as shown in the iPad/Android Tablet apps). They don't need the dedicated channel bands on the cable plant any more for analog TV. So, they can start pushing to use their entire coax pipe for IP traffic. Once we have an all-IP based network at the core, we can split the "cable" from the "content" with no holdovers. This would also allow the traditional cable TV companies broadcast to everyone with a broadband connection over a certain speed, opening up new markets. This would throw the content-providers into a serious tizzy, as it could usher in an era of direct content competition.

Comment Re:Common Carrier issue (Score 1) 361

I wouldn't, even though I agree with him, because he's semiliterate and doesn't know the difference between were and where. Semiliterates don't belong here. I hate semiliterate slashdot comments even more than I hate Beta (and I've seen more and more of them here, why can't kids today read or write?).

Beta is /. for the semi-literate. Which is why it's hated.

Comment I small lawsuit... (Score 2) 236

This has all the hallmarks of the beginnings of a civil suit for negligence, and if it can be proven that the flags were raised based on actual break-ins and were ignored, possibly criminal negligence. The only place in Target I'd want to be right now is in their legal office - they're gonna be putting in some overtime soon.

Comment Re:Best I've Ever Owned (Score 1) 131

The Jade Rabbit is the best vibrator I've ever owned. Do yourself a favor and get one (or two!). They go great on the clit, in the pussy, in the ass, tickling the dick or nipples, and (my personal favorite) pressed up tight against your taint, just under the scrotum.

But they really don't work well when it's 100K. Of course, if you were to touch your taint with an object at that temperature, I think you might get a variant of the tongue-on-flagpole effect, much to your displeasure.

Comment Re:We have seen enough (Score 1) 665

I agree - teach the contraversy. We have seen enough things fall by the wayside in the history of science that we should not consider anything with reverance, e.g. flat earth, sun circles the earth, etc.

Teach the scientific method and let the kids sort it out!

You do realize that all the theories you mentioned were originally held and taught by religious fanatics, right? Not sure if that was your point or not...

Comment Re:As a max time limit before entering public doma (Score 2) 360

The original framers of the constitution recognized this at the founding of the republic.

"The Congress shall have Power To...promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries...."

Nobody objects to people having the protection of a limited copyright so that they can profit from their ideas. Everyone - including, I'd argue, most copyright holders but excepting apparently their very successful lobbyists and tame congresspeople - agrees that "copyright" != "rights to exclusivity in perpetuity so that person and their heirs never have to work again".

You do realize that SCOTUS has ruled that limited times is subject to the "I'll know it when I see it" rule of being out of bounds. They have yet to see a number that they've declared limited. Of course, it's all about perspective. In a geologic time scale, then 100 years is very "limited".

What I would like to see is a "short-circut" timer based on dates of publication. If a work is not published at all (made available to the public in some form), then it gets a shorter protection time. Once a work is published, the date it is no longer available (ie, the book goes out of print, the software is no longer sold), then another timer starts - you have X amount of time to re-publish it (say 10 years) or it passes into the public domain.

Comment Re:Ronald Regan revisited (Score 1) 179

As Regan looked at the world through the fog of dementia and dirty windows at the White House he couldn't distinguish between movie scripts and reality. (Remember the refit of the New Jersey?) It seems that Cameron has lost more than a few brain cells too.

This is what happens when the GCHQ uses the neuralizer too much.

Comment Re:Like my momma said ... read the fine print (Score 1) 390

Following the link referenced we get: "From the statistics below (collected from W3Schools' log-files over a period of ten years), you can read the long term trends of browser usage."

So this data set really shows only the behavior of access to the w3schools.com site. Don't make inferences across the general population.

I also note that they don't say WHAT drives that percentage? Is it based on IP addresses or raw page views? Could it be that Chrome users have to look up how to do basic web crap more often? Maybe IE dropped because those on Windows platforms are using Visual Stdio with its own built-in help. There is no way you can make any educated inferences from this data. This is another stunt to get Slashdot pageviews.

Comment Re:More reprsentative stats please (Score 1) 390

Yes, but remember "Developers, Developers, Developers!". If the developers start abandoning IE, then your platform will no longer have the best experience and further encouage users to move to others, like Firefox/Chrome.

This is simply saying that most developers use something besides IE for their day-to-day browsing activities (and/or help lookup). This does not say anything about the browser mix that they have to (a) design for, or (b) test with. This is like looking at the White House and saying that the Congress must not have any Republicans.

Comment Re:interesting idea (Score 1) 106

So you decrypt something and it *looks* like real data.

So it would have to be a function that produces 'good' results and 'bad results' but the bad results look like good ones.

Would have to be careful that the 'bad' results do not do things like open the lock though. For instant in the case of login list breaches.

If randomly generated "fake" data matches someone else's password (or whatever is being encrypted), that other person didn't use a strong enough password. This system is just acting like a hash function -- criminal tries password A and he decrypts the data to some string, then he tries password B and the data gets decrypted to another string. If those randomly generated strings happen to match someone elses password on the system, the criminal could have saved himself some time by generating the password guesses himself.

What's the goal here - to make the returned data "not my data", or "incorrect data"? There is a world of difference between these two. "Not my data" is a simple thing to generate, but could still be correct data. IE, if the data protected is a card number, and the generated number matches someone else's card, then do we care or not? The criminal doesn't care, as long as their goal is met (get a valid card - it doesn't have to be yours). If we're talking about "invalid" data, then we need some mechanism to validate the generated data before it's returned. While this wouldn't meet the criminal's goal, it could open a possible DDOS attack vector on the validation service (ie, a brute force becomes a magnified reflection attack).

They aren't going to store a big database of valid credit card numbers so they can return someone else's card number, they'll just generate a random number that looks like it could be a real credit card number and passes the checksum test.

Yes, a criminal could take the credit card numbers from each decryption attempt and test them, but if he's willing to test millions of card numbers to look for a valid one, he could just generate the card numbers directly and not attempt the decryption in the first place.

If we're simply returning a random string that "looks" valid, then this method of protection works. If we return a known invalid number, then we now have a test that the attacker can use to validate the password input. It does take one additional step (validate the result).

Comment Re:Security through obscurity (Score 1) 106

I guess it DOES have some benefit, huh?

People misunderstand what "security through obscurity" means. Most (all?) encryption relies on security through obscurity at some level.

Hiding your house key under a loose floorboard in your back deck is the kind of security through obscurity that can really work, assuming that there are no other clues that lead to the hiding place. However, hiding the prybar that you use to pry up the floorboard under the belief that hiding the method of access makes your key safer is not the kind of obscurity that works because if the attacker can find your hiding place, he can figure another way to get to the key.

Similarly, hiding or not writing down your password is security through obscurity that works. But trying to hide the implementation details of your cipher algorithm does not, because cryptoanalysis can break your encryption even without access to your encryption algorithm.

So, obscuring your real password among an endless number of fake passwords is the kind of obscurity that can work -- even if the attacker knows that your password is somewhere among the billions of fake ones, unless he has some clue to tell him what your real password looks like, just knowing that fakes are there doesn't help him.

Of course, they could use the prybar to simply break a window, or pry open the door, invalidating the purpose of the hiding place entirely. So hiding the prybar, while it doesn't directly affect the hiding space, helps increase overall security of the system.

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Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death. -- James F. Byrnes